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Fats – Are You Eating Enough?

Fats – Are You Eating Enough?

Fats are often the “bad word” when it comes to dieting. However, fats are needed as part of your healthy diet as there are many benefits associated with them. You just have to know the good, from the bad, and the ugly.

The Bad (also ugly)

Saturated fat – This is the fat, that becomes hard, and whitish in color at room temperature and is found mostly in animal products. Think about a cooked steak that you’ve left out for a while. It’s that yucky white stuff you scrape off when you go to reheat it later. Saturated fat is the stuff that is implicated in the increase of LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

When shopping look for the leanest cuts that you can find. Most meat departments will even trim the meat for you at no cost if you ask them. Grilling meat is the preferred way to cook it, not to mention very tasty. The fat will drip off into the bottom of the grill allowing the steak to become healthier to eat.

The Good

Unsaturated fat – is implicated in HDL or “good” cholesterol. This can be found in products like olive oil, canola oil and almond oil. Mono-unsaturated fat is a double bond in its chain. Poly-unsaturated fat has more than one in its double-bonded chain. These are found in peanuts, macadamia nuts, safflower oil and corn oil. Don’t worry if this is starting to sound overwhelming just remember that unsaturated fat is good.

The benefits of these fats are:

Provides energy

Transports fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K

Provides regulation and excretion of nutrients in the cells

Provides organ protection

Initiates the release of the hormone cholecystokinin, which is a hormone that signals satiety (feeling full)

A recap of what your suggested macronutrient intake should be are as follows:

Carbohydrates should make up the bulk of your food intake at 50-60 percent

Protein should only be about 25-30 percent of your diet

10 to 15 percent is left for fats

And don’t forget the Law of Thermal Dynamics – You lose body fat when you burn more calories than you take in.